Humility and True Leadership

Humility is a human characteristic that some people regard as weakness. This is unfortunate, and misguided thinking. Some of the world's greatest leaders have been humble-servants of the people they serve. And there's the rub. Servant-hood doesn’t fall naturally to most of us. Serving is for someone else, isn't it? Strong leadership doesn't seem to mesh with humbleness.  However, humble-leadership is not an oxymoron.

There is a common thread that runs between humility and true leadership. Think about it. Whom would you prefer to follow: a brash, harsh, unyielding, barking individual, or someone who kindly leads by example? A good leader has a humble spirit. It is at his very core and becomes the driving force behind why people choose to follow.

"Treating others the way you want to be treated", is a trait that parents teach their toddlers, but "The Golden Rule" is more than an old fashioned idea that simply encourages children to behave well.  Glancing over their shoulders, leaders, who incorporate kindness and humility will find a line forming to the rear. 

In the American movie, "Remember the Titans", a beleaguered captain of a high school football team, chided a fellow teammate for his poor attitude. The player came back with a telling response. "Attitude reflects leadership, Captain", he said.

It was a good cinematic moment, but the player's response is translatable in real life. A disrespectful leader elicits a disrespectful following. At most their followers might respect the leader's position, but not the haughty leader.  

Leaders, who model humility, gain the respect of their associates and clients. A leader might be at the very top in his field, a guru that exhibits what is professionally advantageous. But, people read between the lines. Associates will not work to full potential for a leader who doesn't care. 

Authorities on leadership have a long list of characteristics that are essential to success: conviction, punctuality, discipline, passion, creativity a sense of humor and lots more. Arguably none of the characteristics are worth the breath it takes to repeat, without humility.  Humility is inspirational. Humility drives people to respond. It inspires morale, and a good attitude. "Attitude reflects leadership".

“There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” 
 Ernest Hemingway


Adrian Constantin is CEO and Founder of Science of Connectivity™. His background includes 24 years of experience in communications, working with companies such as Siemens, Labatt’s, Givenchy and General Electric

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